15 interview tips for nursing and midwifery applicants

A little unsure of everything you need to do ahead of your nursing or midwifery university interviews? The key thing to remember while preparing is that universities will be using them to assess whether you have the right attitude and foundation of skills to work in a patient-centered workplace. 
Make sure you read our expert tips from nine unis to ensure you're fully prepared and really ready to sell yourself to course leaders during the interview process. 

Preparing for nursing interviews

1. Do your research 
"Reading the NHS constitution and understanding the NHS 6Cs is a good place to start to understand what qualities are essential for health professionals." Patricia Harris, Outreach Academic Fellow for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of East Anglia» 

2. Match your values and skills to the role 
"Once you know the values expected of nurses, think of examples of situations you have been in which demonstrate how you match these." Linda Sanderson Admissions tutor, BSc (Hons) Pre registration Nursing (Children) University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)» 

3. Be clear on why you want to apply for the nursing or midwifery course 
"Make sure you know the reasons why you have chosen a career in nursing or midwifery and consider the diversity of role including the challenges you may face. Make sure you are also able to discuss current innovations, research or ethical issues related to the profession." Laura Sands, Admissions Manager, University of Surrey» 

4. Research types of interview questions you might be asked & practice 
"Try to anticipate the types of questions you will be asked and think about asking someone to run through some interview questions with you to help you." David Maher Admissions Tutor for Adult Nursing, University of Hertfordshire» 

5. Make sure you're up to date what is going on within the nursing profession "Read articles on nursing and keep up to date with current issues in the media. Many current issues span all fields of nursing so think how they affect the field of your choice. Doing this shows that you’ve considered the role that you are applying for." Kathryn Smith, Health and Social Care Admissions, University of Chester» 

6. Swot up for tests 
"Have a look online for practice test papers for things like numeracy and literacy so that you can practice ahead of the test." Hannah Brookling, Admissions Team Leader, Buckinghamshire New University» 

What to wear


7. Dress like it's a work interview 
"Dress smart, you are applying for a professional programme where you will have to maintain professional behaviours and standards." Chloe Hinds, 2nd year Midwifery student, De Montford University»

8. But make sure the outfit brings out the best in you 
"While your outfit should be smart to give a good impression it should also be something that they feel comfortable and confident in." Jodie Dowl. Senior Admissions and Information Officer, Faculty of Education, Health and Community, Liverpool John Moores University» 

Nursing and midwifery help on The Student Room: 
2016 nursing applicants » 
2016 mental health nursing applicants » 
2016 children's nursing applicants » 
2016 midwifery applicants » 
Everything you need to know about applying to uni »

How to keep calm

9. Plan ahead 
"Make sure you plan your route and leave in plenty of time to attend the interview, that way you'll feel calm when you arrive." Dowl, Liverpool John Moores University»

10. Interviewers appreciate that nerves are natural 
"Interviews are always daunting and we expect some nerves, so we try to make the event calm and enjoyable. Remember if you have researched and done your homework you should feel confident." Karen Wild, Senior Lecturer, Adult Nursing, University of Salford»

11. See the interview as an opportunity to test-drive your future uni 
"Everybody is obviously nervous when they arrive, but the interviews are a great opportunity to meet academic staff and students and find out more about the course and the student experience" Hinds, De Montford University »

12. Re-read your personal statement 
"Read your personal statement beforehand to remind yourself of what you wrote and make a few notes on things that you have done which show your suitability for the course but that you couldn’t fit in your statement or that you have done since writing your statement." Harris, UEA»

Attending the interview

13. Relax by having a chat 
"When you are there, try to take time to talk to other applicants – this will not only help your nerves, but you may meet friends that you will be studying with in future!" Brookling, Bucks New Uni»

Remember to breathe 
14. "Take deep breaths to relax so that you listen carefully and engage with the interview panel more effectively. If required, ask the panel to clarify a point and it is OK to say to the panel that you would like to gather your thoughts before responding." Maher, University of Hertfordshire»

Remember, your application has already demonstrated your potential 
15. "If you get stuck, stop and take a breath. Remember, they’ve asked you to come for an interview. They’ve seen something in you!" Smith, University of Chester»


De Montford UniversityBefore being interviewed, you will be required to pass a numeracy and literacy test. The nursing interview is in the format of a case study based interview which lasts approximately 20 minutes, with a panel of two people, one from the academic team and one from practice. Practice members may be a registered nurse, patient/service users or service provider. 
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Buckinghamshire New University On the selection day, applicants complete a literacy and numeracy test. Both tests will take 20 minutes each to complete. Students will also have a group interview and individual interview. Applicants could be at the university for around 5 hours. 
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University of HertfordshireAn applicant's interview day consists of numeracy and literacy tests and group and individual interviews. Applicants will be at the university from 13.00 until approximately 17.00.
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University of ChesterThe format of the interview includes; individual interviews, a group task, a presentation and both literacy and numeracy tests. 
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University of SalfordThe whole session consists of a variety of activities, applicants may be involved in a short group activity, almost certainly an interview with around six questions. Applicants will also take a numeracy and literacy test, so can expect to be with the university for a whole morning or the afternoon. 
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University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)The selection process at UCLan is in two stages, on two separate days. Day one is a testing stage: 20 numeracy questions, two long answer questions based on given scenarios and several nursing knowledge questions. The interview on day two is approximately half an hour.
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University of East AngliaUEA run multiple mini Interviews which means applicants will have a few short interviews one after another with different people - it’s like speed dating. For example there may be 4 different mini interviews each lasting about 5 minutes. Applicants discuss a question or a scenarios with one interviewer for 5 minutes and then move onto the next table to talk to a different interviewer, and so on. 
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University of University of SurreySurrey also conduct multiple mini interviews which are a series of short interviews in a timed circuit rather than one long interview. Each circuit or ‘cycle’ lasts 29- 35 minutes dependent on the programme and is comprised of six-seven stations which are four minutes long and have one minute in between. 
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Liverpool John Moores UniversityInterviews last approximately 20 mins and include five key areas. The interview panel will normally consist of two interviewers; an academic member of staff and an employer from a Hospital Trust.
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Anglia Ruskin UniversityThe selection process for nursing is in two stages. On the first interview day, applicants take a literacy and numeracy test. If successful, they then progress to the second interview day and take part in multiple mini interviews (MMIs). The MMIs involve several short interviews where applicants discuss a scenario or answer a question with an academic, employer from a trust or service user. 
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